Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Communications: Nokia 6630 and IMAP email

3G as well as VoIP

Unfortunately a lot of these early posts are about the tedious things that you have to deal with yourself when you're starting a business. There are lots of exciting things happening on the business side, but they're all early stage and I don't want to write about them just yet. Be patient - those stories will come.

So we're stuck with some boring stories, but hopefully this one might actually be useful to some people.

As well as the Skype / VoIP solution for our landline number, I have a Nokia 6630 3G phone on a Vodafone contract. The idea being that I could check my IMAP email on the move.

Nokia 6630 and IMAP

The specifications and salespeople both assured me that the 6630 could deal with IMAP folders and would let me check my email at blazingly fast 3G speeds. The reality is that it can check IMAP email, but getting to this point involved some headaches.

First of all, I went into Carphone Warehouse (no link because they've been hopeless at helping me) intending to get what I now have - the Nokia 6630 on a Vodafone contract. They told me to get the Nokia 6630 on a Hutchison 3G contract (much cheaper!). I protested that I wanted to check my email and Three keep you in a walled garden and don't let you out into the wider Internet. Carphone Warehouse told me that restriction had recently been lifted. It wasn't until I tried using the phone (and half an hour on hold to Three customer support) that I found out that this was not true and the walled garden was still in place.

Back to Carphone Warehouse, exchange phone for the one I originally wanted. Problems weren't over though.

How to set up IMAP folders on Nokia 6630

Having set up my email account details and being able to send emails and access my Inbox, I tried to subscribe to some subfolders. The process was:

  • Open my email folder
  • Options >> Email settings >> User settings >> Subscribed folders
  • Prompt: connect to mailbox and update folders? Answer: Yes
  • Wait a while then select mailboxes to which I wanted to subscribe
  • Go back to Inbox
  • See below for the step I missed at this point

At this point, I expected to see the subfolders. They were nowhere to be found. I connected to the account and the phone crashed. I tried again and only the Inbox was there.

It was at this point that I called customer support (first Vodafone and then Carphone Warehouse). All I wanted to know was where I should expect to find the folders I had just subscribed to. After a long time on the phone talking to people who didn't know what IMAP was, they eventually told me that the phone was disabled to only allow this functionality when using Vodafone email.

They were wrong (the worst kind of customer support).

The missing step

Luckily I didn't believe them and deleted the email account in order to try again. The steps are as above, but at the end, reconnect to your mailbox, but don't do anything else. Leave the phone until it is finished updating (it's best to limit the number of emails it downloads - I have it set to 30) before trying to enter the Inbox. When it is finally done, you see the subfolders at the same level as the Inbox (where you would expect). If it is interrupted, it does not display the folders here and I could find no way to force it to find them (although it has already found them once to subscribe) without deleting the account and starting again.

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